Professor Lilie Chouliaraki

Room TW2.7.01D

Department of Media and Communications 

London School of Economics and Political Science

Houghton Street

London WC2A 2AE UK 

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7852 3790

Twitter (@MediaLSE):!/medialse


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Profile and further information on research expertise


Professor Lilie Chouliaraki

Professor of Media and Communications

  • BA School of Philosophy, University of Athens
  • MA Department of Linguistics, Lancaster University
  • PhD Department of Linguistics, Lancaster University

Lilie joined LSE in 2007 as Chair in Media and Communications.

Recent Awards




External and Internal Commitments

Lillie has a background in Languages and Linguistics and her research has a strong interdisciplinary orientation, drawing on Social and Cultural Theory, Moral Philosophy and Sociology, Visual Communication and Social Semiotics as well as Discourse Theory and Analysis. Her main interest lies in understanding how the media shape our ethical and political relationship to distant others; how they inform the ways we witness the vulnerability of these others and the ways we are invited to feel, think and act towards them. 

Her empirical material has included disaster news, humanitarian and human rights communication, war and conflict journalism, studying these in a historical perspective and across mass and digital media. Lillie has served at a number of LSE Committees and currently sits at the Board of LSE's Women, Peace and Security Centre as well as the Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship. She is Member of the AHRC Peer Review College. She is also Honorary Professor at the Copenhagen Business School and has been visiting Professor at a number of Universities, including CELSA-Sorbonne, Paris, University of Helsinki and University of Stockholm; she holds a 2017 Professorial Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Bologna. Her work has been translated in Portuguese, Polish, Danish, Greek, Italian, French and Chinese. 

Lilie's main interest is in media ethics, broadly understood as the moral implications of mediated communication in contemporary public life. She has published extensively on the nature of mediated public discourse, particularly on the link between mediation, social action and cosmopolitan citizenship.

Lilie's main research focus lies in the mediation of human vulnerability, and she has spent the past ten years exploring three key domains within which human vulnerability appears as a problem of communication:  disaster news, humanitarianism and war.  In her work on the mediation of disaster news, Lilie has shown the ways in which Western national and trans-national television networks follow hierarchical patterns in their narrative organisation of news on distant suffering and, hence, in the systematic distribution of ethical sensibilities towards distant others. In so doing, she concluded, they reproduce global hierarchies of place and human life, along a West/non-West axis (The Spectatorship of Suffering, Sage 2006/2011).

In more recent work, on the mediation of solidarity, Lilie explored how the humanitarian imperative has changed in the course of the past fifty years. Looking into NGO appeals, rock concerts, celebrity advocacy and post-television disaster news, she demonstrated how major institutional (the commercialisation of the aid and development field), technological (the rise of new media) and political (the fall of grand narratives) transformations have also changed the moral imperative to act on distant others who need our support.  As a consequence, she argued, solidarity has today become not about conviction but choice, not vision but lifestyle, not others but ourselves - turning us into the ironic spectators of other people's suffering (The Ironic Spectator. Solidarity in the Age of Post-humanitarianism, Polity, 2012).

Lilie's current work focuses on the mediation of war, where she explores the various public genres through which war has been mundanely communicated in our culture, from photojournalism to films and from memoirs to news. The aim is to better understand how our collective imagination of the battlefield and its sufferings, what we may call our 'war imaginary', has been shaping the moral tissue of public life, in the course of the past century (1914-2012).


Self-mediation: new media, citizenship and civil selves

Chouliaraki, Lilie, ed. (2012) Self-mediation: new media, citizenship and civil selves. Routledge, London, UK. ISBN 9780415672122

Media, Organisations and Identity

Chouliaraki, Lilie and Morsing, Mette, eds. (2010) Media, organizations and identity. Macmillan Publishers Limited, Basingstoke, UK. ISBN 9780230515512

Soft Power of War

Chouliaraki, Lilie, ed. (2007) Soft power of war. Benjamins current topics. John Benjamins Publishing, Philadelphia, PA. ISBN 978902722233

Spectatorship of Suffering

Chouliaraki, Lilie (2006) Spectatorship of suffering. SAGE, London. ISBN 978076197039

Discourse in Late Modernity

Chouliaraki, Lilie and Fairclough, Norman (1999) Discourse in late modernity: rethinking critical discourse analysis. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, UK. ISBN 9780748610822


Click here for a comprehensive list of Professor Lilie Chouliaraki's publications.  

Lilie teaches the Humanitarian Communication (MC429) optional course and contributes lectures to selected courses for the MSc Programmes offered by the Department.

Lilie supervises PhD students whose topics include the mediation of human trafficking as a humanitarian cause; the gender politics of mediating domestic violence in Hungary ; the relationship between mediation, mediatisation and ideology; digital media and journalistic identities in the newsroom. Applicants with backgrounds in social science disciplines including media studies, communication and discourse studies, political science and sociology are encouraged to apply.

Lilie Chouliaraki

On sabbatical in Michaelmas Term 2017 and Lent Term 2018

I will not be supervising MSc student dissertations during 2017.

The Ironic Spectator

Chouliaraki, Lilie (2012) The ironic spectator: solidarity in the age of post-humanitarianism.Polity Press, Cambridge, UK. ISBN 9780745642109

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